AdmissionsQuest Live from School Connections in Baltimore

School ConnectionsPeter & I will be covering and talking to educational consultants and school admission folks over the next day and a half.  If you’re unfamiliar with School Connections, the brain child of Pat Finn, it’s a combination of ‘speed-dating’ and the old information swap between consultants and school.

Pat has taken the room full of tables with color print materials information swap model and given it definition and purpose. School representatives still sit at their tables but consultants now meet with admission officers on a defined schedule for 20 minute meetings.

It’s one-on-one time between school and consultant.

The moving room frenzy is gone; the meetings give people a chance to talk and learn.

On the AQ side, we’ll be taking pictures and recording podcast interviews throughout the conference- working to help boarding schools tell their stories and highlight new programs and opportunities of the coming year.

From the ‘you learn something new every day’ file, last night, I learned about Stanstead College a Canadian boarding school just across the boarder from Vermont. Joanne Ross, an admission associate, painted a great picture of the school for me. Small school, American and Canadian college placement, great hockey, and day students commute internationally across the US-Canadian border each day. Nifty.

We’ll update this space over the next two days so check back to stay current with the workshop. For now, enjoy Peter’s shots from the opening of School Connections.

Update (9:31 am 9/11/09)

Stanstead College is one of three Quebec boarding schools; Sedbergh School and Feller College are the other two. Keep in mind that although in Canada, they use the term ‘college’ to describe the schools; these are secondary/high schools in the American sense. Both Stanstead and Sedburgh teach 7-12th grades, following the traditional English upper school model.

Update (10:05 am 9/11/09)

I just walked through the meeting room during one of the meting periods. The whole process reminds me of how we ran parent’s weekend teacher meetings at one school where I taught. At the school, we set-up tables and chairs in the gym and parents sat down with us for small, direct, one-one-one meetings. The process was great providing a brief time for serious discussion between parent and student. No audience freed parents and teacher voices. Even though the meeting took place in a large room, the engagement was direct and conversation frank and purposeful.

I see the same thing happening here today. The conversation and engagement are intimate and direct with a freedom to ask and exchange.

Update (3:20 pm 9/11/09)

Beyond the usual table manning and greeting, we got to sit down with Julie Harris, Director of Admission, The Webb School (TN) and Nancy Nolan, Assistant Head for Admission and Marketing at Christchurch School (VA) today to record a couple of interviews.  Julie spoke with us about the concept of boarding school in the south and personal relationships at Webb while Nancy told us about the place based curriculum taking hold at Christchurch. Both interviews will be available next week on the Boarding School Podcast.

Update (4:27 pm 9/11/09)

Scott Eckstein, Solebury School‘s Director of Admission caught-up with us this afternoon when he sat down to record a podcast episode. We learned about Solebury’s application and use of themes woven through the academic year.

Solebury is in the first year of weaving ‘health care’ throughout the curriculum. I was impressed with the process and planning behind the process. Solebury integrates the theme into every applicable corner of the school. Scott also hit a few highlights and changes for 2009-2010.

Update (10:00 am 9/12/09)

DaRel Christiansen of Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School joined us for an early chat over coffee this morning.  Did you know that Rabun Gap is the only school with a high school level “Cirque du Soleil” program?

Update (11:31 am 9/12/09)

Dan Love, New Hampton School‘s, Global Curriculum Coordinator, sat down with us to tell us about the how, thinking, and meaning of New Hampton’s adoption of the IB curriculum. More than the curriculum proper, it sounds like the IB will serve as guiding philosophy for New Hampton.

Update (5:10 pm 9/12/09)

Back from School Connections and I want to thank Patrick Finn and his team for hosting AdmissionsQuest. We enjoyed all of our conversations and plan to post our podcasts to the site in the coming days. Stay tuned.

Again, many thanks to Patrick. Great job.

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Brian Fisher

A product of both private and public education, Brian Fisher served as a teacher, coach, dorm parent, and administrator at three different boarding schools. Brian also fills the role of Director of Development at Wolfeboro, The Summer Boarding School, in NH along with being a partner at AdmissionsQuest.

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